Which landlords will Hartford hold accountable? The Center for Leadership and Justice’s No More Slumlords! campaign initiated an October 2019 housing code designed to improve living conditions. The CLJ, formally known as the Christian Activities Council, organized Hartford residents who were subject to unacceptable housing conditions and unable to hold landlords and LLCs accountable for exploiting HUD’s Section 8 housing contracts. By collecting testimonies, holding forums, and pressuring the Hartford City Council the CLJ was successful in its initiatives to put more restraint on out-of-town landlords and increase provisions to file complaints.
Additional Information about the CLJ’s work and the No More Slumlords! Campaign:
This legislation modernizes regulations around limited liability companies and creates provisions for the city to request new licensing applications from property owners with recurring violations. The provisions began to go into effect in July 2021 for apartments buildings of 40 units or greater. The housing code will affect medium-sized apartment buildings with 10-39 units in 2022, small-sized apartment buildings with 4-9 units in 2021, and three-family homes in 2024.
More details about the legislation investigated by Rebecca Lurye can be found here.
To better understand the impact of this legislation, we were tasked with mapping Hartford residential buildings by the number of living units. Our data is grouped into three buckets: 40+ units (Large), 10-39 units (Medium), and 4-9 living units (Small). See the table of organized data created by Bonnie below for more details.
Approximately 33,000 people, about half of the apartment population, are affected by the first phase of the accountability law. Large apartment buildings comprise half of Hartford housing units.
|Over Half of Hartford Housing Units are in Large Buildings with 40+ Units|
|Apartment Building Size||Living Units Range||Number of Buildings||Housing Units||Percentage of Total Units||Approximate Number of People|
|Note: this table omits buildings with both less than three and an undefined number of units. The approximated number of people is calculated using 2.48 average Hartford household size as defined by 2015-2019 census data|
Overall, we found that the three different groups of apartment buildings tend to be concentrated in different neighborhoods across the city. We mapped the location of apartment buildings and then organized the buildings by size and neighborhood location. Large buildings are based Downtown, Medium buildings are in the West End, and Small buildings are concentrated in the South End.
2021 Current Impact:
This symbol point map below depicts the location and size of the large apartment buildings to also help understand the range of building sizes. The largest building houses 451 units and is located in Frog Hollow. 13,277 units and approximately 30,000 people are already protected by the new housing code. Despite large size buildings being a small portion of Hartford units, the majority of Hartford residents live there (based on our data set). View the live map here.
Given that there are only 123 large apartment buildings in the city we were able to explore the size, location, and concentration of these buildings in Hartford utilizing both a symbol point map and a choropleth map. The choropleth map below, designed by Lachlan, shows the concentration of the large-size group, apartment buildings with 40+ units, relative to other Hartford neighborhoods. Approximatly 22 percent of Hartford apartment buildings with 40+ units are located in the Downtown neighborhood, shown in the darkest blue in the live choropleth map.
In 2022 the legislation will expand to medium buildings with 10-39 units and covering a cumulative 78% of Hartford buildings and an estimated 50,000 people. Medium buildings comprise 27% of total housing units in Hartford and are buildings are concentrated in the West End neighborhood, near the Mark Twain House, and Farmington Avenue in predominantly residential areas. View the live map here.
View the detailed neighborhood data here.
2023 Final Phase:
Lastly, small-size apartment buildings with four to nine units, which comprise 22% of housing units, are concentrated in the South End neighborhoods, specifically Frog Hollow and Barry Square View the live map here.
View the detailed neighborhood data here.
The raw property data was gathered from the city of Hartford’s open-source data website. This source can be found here. Once we had the data we used a number of different programs, Google Sheets, geocoding by Smart Monkey, Map Shaper, Data Wrapper, Ect, to create our visualizations and evidently create our data stories. Our raw geocoded data can be found here.
The raw property data was gathered from the city of Hartford’s open-source data website. This source can be found here. Once we had the data we used a number of different programs, Google Sheets, geocoding by Smart Monkey, MapShaper, Data Wrapper, ect, to create our visualizations and evidently create our data stories. Our raw geocoded data can be found here.
Rebecca Lurye, “New Housing Code in Hartford Would Keep Slumlords from Hiding Behind LLCs,” Hartford Courant, May 31, 2019, https://www.courant.com/community/hartford/hc-news-hartford-housing-code-20190531-hcke2jo2x5fpdgz75xf4hlv2ki-story.html .